...as described above, and that others have reviewed below? (I downloaded the Ipod version
.) Here is my description (before I stopped watching):
Boxer Johnny Bradfield (John Garfield) soon has an opportunity to discover just how much his life matches up to his cynical world view when his manager kills a newspaper reporter and then frames Johnny for it (and incidentally steals Johnny's cash, wristwatch, and girlfriend, just as Johnny forecast he would).
Soon after the murder, the manager and Johnny's girlfriend die in a fiery car crash while running from the police. With the bodies burned beyond recognition, the coroner assumes that it was Johnny who died, because the manager was wearing Johnny's wristwatch. Johnny learns about the murder (for which he is accused) and car crash (in which he is thought to have died) from a newspaper after awakening from a drunken sleep the next morning.
Meanwhile, former detective Monty Phelan (Claude Rains) suspects from the coroner's evidence that Johnny is not dead. Having been demoted and made the butt of constant ridicule after a man was falsely sent to the electric chair on erroneous evidence he provided, Monty is more than eager to re-establish his credibility. Finally persuading the chief inspector to reopen the investigation, Monty sets off in pursuit of Johnny.
Having just read the newspaper, but not yet knowing that anyone suspects he is still alive, Johnny is scared and desperate. He seeks the advice of his attorney. Instead of helping Johnny to clear his name, this crooked slime advises Johnny to change his name, run like a fugitive, and never to raise a fist to anyone lest his boxing stance be recognized. Having thus contributed to "making him a criminal" (as per the title), this piece of sh*t lawyer is in the perfect position to scam Johnny out of his cash reserve held in a safe deposit box. Calling Johnny a "sucker" right to his face, he packs Johnny off to ride the rails (hobo style) into parts unknown. At this point I stopped, reread this page, and decided to give the film another chance.
Exhausted and confused from running, Johnny stops at a diner for a bite to eat. When fatigue causes him to clumsily fumble what cash he has left, three tough guys at the counter near him see and become interested. When Johnny drops a bill on the floor, one of the toughs steps on it and claims it as his own. Johnny raises a fist, then a look of horror spreads across his face as he remembers what the lawyer told him.
At this point I stopped watching, and sent the file swirling down the porcelain. If I want "film noir" (more like "Les Miserables
with an extra helping of dirt") like this, all I need do is turn on the daily news (I already know how mean the world can get); I want something different from my entertainment. Maybe Johnny finds his ranch and East End Kids, and even makes a new life for himself, but I couldn't stay with it to find out. They laid it on far too thickly in the beginning with the "humans are dirty rotten scum" trope, and I just had to bail.
Had I known, I would have quickly passed up this movie. I've slammed into some pretty nasty stuff in my time (some of it nauseatingly graphic) because there wasn't a clue in the description, nor in the comments. I hope that doesn't happen too often here at IA. (This won't be the first time I've posted a "heads up" for the next person.)
Then again, maybe I'm better off to go bake some muffins, too. Thanks to splue for a recipe.
No rating, because I didn't sit through the whole thing.